The Greater Reston Chamber of Commerce hosted their annual Awards for Chamber Excellence (ACE) luncheon late last week. The awards recognize companies and people who demonstrated excellence as chamber and community members.
This year’s honorees are as follows:
- Committee of the Year: NoVA B2G Matchmaking Conference Steering Committee
- Small Business of the Year: Tagence
- Medium Business of the Year: AOC Key Solutions
- Large Business of the Year: SOS International (SOSi)
- Member of the Year: Dave and Joanne Adams, Dave and Joanne Adams Group
- New Member of the Year: Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant
- Volunteer of the Year: Omicron Kappa Kappa (OKK) Foundation
- Young Professional of the Year: Colin May, KME.digital
- President’s Award: Tom Madden, Visual Impact Productions
- Pinnacle Award: Charles Kapur, Access National Bank
Photo by Chip McCrea Photography
If you missed fireworks shows over the weekend, there are several opportunities to catch the skies light up on Wednesday (July 4):
The ninth annual Firecracker 5K for the Troops will take place in Reston Town Center from 8-10 a.m. This year’s event is sponsored by Leidos. Live music and post-race refreshments will be offered. The top three overall male and female finishers and the top three fastest team will also win cash prizes.
The Town of Herndon’s celebration on Wednesday brings live music, arts and crafts activities and family games to Bready Park (814 Ferndale Avenue) from 6:30 to 10 p.m. The fireworks show begins at 9:30 p.m. No pets, fireworks, alcohol or grills are allowed.
Enjoy water slides, water games, magic shows and music at Vienna’s celebration at 7 p.m. in Yeonas Park (1319 Ross Drive). Fireworks begin at dark around 9:30 p.m. Sprinklers and sparklers will be available at the Vienna Community Center Grounds.
City of Fairfax
The celebration kicks off with a parade from 10 a.m. to noon in downtown Fairfax (4100 Chain Bridge Drive). When the sunset sets, the evening show will begin at Fairfax High School, featuring fireworks displays and on-stage entertainment.
A 5K race kicks off at 8 a.m. at the Great Falls Freedom Memorial. At the same time, an INOVA blood drive will run from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A patriot parade for babies and toddlers up to age five will begin at 9 a.m. at the Village Centre Green. The complete day-long lineup is available online.
This is a sponsored column by attorneys John Berry and Kimberly Berry of Berry & Berry, PLLC, an employment and labor law firm located in Northern Virginia that specializes in federal employee, security clearance, retirement and private sector employee matters.
By Kimberly H. Berry, Esq.
Severance agreements are agreements that compensate an employee in exchange for their departure from an employment position.
Most employees are considered “at will,” which means they can resign and/or be terminated at any time. When employment ends, an employer may offer a severance package to an employee in exchange for the employee’s waiver of right to sue.
However, employers, in the absence of an employment contract, generally have no obligation to provide employees severance pay. If severance pay is offered, an employer will offer the employee a Severance Agreement.
A Severance Agreement is a contract between an employee and an employer that specifies the terms of an employment termination. Severance Agreements are also offered to employees who are laid off or facing retirement.
In addition, depending on the circumstances, a Severance Agreement may be offered to an employee who resigns or is terminated. The Severance Agreement must have consideration — i.e., something of value to which the employee is not already entitled.
Employers are usually required to provide an employee time to consider the Severance Agreement before signing. An employee typically has a 21-day consideration period to accept an employer’s Severance Agreement unless the employee is over 40 years of age.
The Older Workers Benefit Protection Act (OWBPA) requires that an employer provide employees over 40 years of age with a 45-day consideration period and at least a 7-day revocation period.
There are various ways that Severance Agreements are used:
- An employee is terminated and the employer then offers a Severance Agreement;
- An employee has been terminated, no Severance Agreement was proposed by the employer but the employee approaches the employer seeking one; or
- An employee wants to resign and seeks to negotiate severance.
Some of the issues to consider in a Settlement Agreement may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Financial terms
- Tax consequences and timing of severance payments
- Continuation of employment benefits
- Rights to unemployment compensation
- Release of Claims
- Re-employment possibilities
- Scope of non-competition
- Preservation of trade secrets
- Recommendation letters
- Applicable law
- Consequences of violating the Severance Agreement
Severance Agreements often include a General Release (Waiver) that stipulates the employee cannot sue his or her employer for wrongful termination or attempt to seek unemployment benefits.
Before an employee signs a Severance Agreement, he or she should consult with an attorney to discuss the rights that he or she may be waiving and the terms of the Severance Agreement.
When facing a severance agreement it can be important to have the assistance and advice of counsel. If you need assistance with such an agreement or other employment issue, please contact our office at 703-668-0070 or at www.berrylegal.com to schedule a consultation. Please also visit and like us on our Facebook page.
A 37-second video of a former Reston Association employee yelling “Why are you such a b**** Afghanistan?” and other profanities at a driver is gaining traction online. The man was described as a seasonal employee who worked with RA from March through August 2015.
“You’re a BITCH AFGHANISTAN!”
— Omid (@ChicknKabob) July 1, 2018
During the exchange, the man repeated yells profanities and tells the driver “you’re a b**** Afghanistan.” The driver responds by asking “What’s your problem?” and clarifies he was born in this country. The driver also responded with expletives.
The man with the RA T-shirt also says, “It’s a good thing you got that to protect you.” The circumstances of the incident are unclear. Towards the end of the video, the man appears to return to his car.
The individual who posted the original video on Facebook and the individual who tweeted the video did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Reston Now.
RA’s Acting CEO Larry Butler issued the following statement today:
Reston Association became aware of a video posted on social media today that shows a former RA seasonal employee making inappropriate comments to a man seated in a vehicle. The association strongly condemns the remarks made by the former employee, who briefly worked at RA from March-August 2015.
As an organization founded on Robert E. Simon Jr.’s vision of a community that embraces diversity, RA rejects comments or actions that display intolerance. RA members and staff support the core values upon which our community was founded. As an organization, we strive to meet the unwavering standards of our members and remain the respectful and welcoming community that was founded over 50 years ago.
Each Monday, Tim’s Reston sets the table with deals and events for the work week ahead in Reston. On Friday, we’ll catch up with Tim again with the upcoming weekend’s deals and events.
Highlights for the upcoming work week include:
Deal of the Week: Get a complimentary Chocolate Piñata with the purchase of 3 entrees @ Uncle Julio’s.
- Free Chocolate Chunk Cookie @ Chick-Fil-A (North Point)
- Mini Monday @ Virginia ABC
- Muscle Up Monday @ Reston Town Center
- $7 Movies & $5 Popcorn @ Bow Tie Cinemas
- Tracey Kyle Book Launch Party @ Scrawl Books
- 8th Year Anniversary Party @ Kalypso’s
- Firecracker 5K for the Troops @ Reston Town Center
- 18% off To Go Orders @ Glory Days
- 20% off sale @ The Wine Cabinet
- Date Night Thursday @ The Melting Pot
- Take A Break Concert w/ Squeeze Bayou @ Lake Anne Plaza
- Free Beloved Yoga @ Reston Station
- BOGO Free on your receipt @ Potbelly
- Loyalty Restaurant Week @ PassionFish
- Buy 2 Fresh Takes Tubs, Get 1 Free @ Zoe’s Kitchen
See the entire list by category or scroll through the entire list here:
Interested in special promotion as the Deal or Event of the Week or Weekend? Have a deal or event tip? Comments? Suggestions? Email Tim at [email protected]!
Heat advisory in effect — The National Weather Service has issued a heat advisory from noon to 8 p.m. today. Heat index values could hit 105 degrees today. [National Weather Service]
A $30 million boost — “Reston lease accounting software firm LeaseAccelerator has raised $30 million in Series B funding from New York venture capital firm Insight Venture Partners.” [WTOP]
Fountain is back in business — The interactive fountain in Reston Town Square Park closed late last week due to emergency repairs. Repairs are now complete and the fountain is open. [Reston Town Center]
Families belong together — Residents in Reston came together for an interfaith vigil in support of the national “Families Belong Together” campaign this weekend. [Local DVM]
Flickr pool photo by vantagehill